15 January 2024
Cardiff's Dragon Athletic and Club 646 Weightlifting played host to the Welsh Masters Open. This competition saw athletes of remarkable prowess, ranging from seasoned competitors to those defying age norms, all vying for victory in their respective categories.
The Welsh Masters Open was a testament to the enduring spirit of competition, as athletes, ranging from 35 up to 88, demonstrated their skill and determination to secure a coveted spot on the podium. Among the remarkable achievements of the day, many athletes earned the right to represent their country at the Masters World Championships later this year.
A highlight of the event was the shattering of a British Record, and the credit goes to the exceptional Paulina Wasilewski. With an awe-inspiring clean and jerk of 96kg, Paulina not only secured her victory but etched her name in the record books, showcasing the calibre of athletes participating in this ground-breaking competition.
The age-defying nature of the sport was exemplified by Bill Despard, an 88-year-old athlete who fearlessly competed in the M80+ 73kg class. His lifts of 33kg in the snatch and 25kg in the clean and jerk served as an inspiration, proving that weightlifting knows no age limit.
Adding a touch of nostalgia and prestige to the competition was the presence of Ray Williams, the gold medalist from the 1986 Commonwealth Games. Competing with vigour, Ray snatched 70kg and clean and jerked 90kg, earning his spot for the upcoming World Masters Weightlifting Championships. With his legacy intact, there's no doubt that Ray Williams will continue to make waves on the international stage.
The Welsh Masters Open wasn't just a competition; it was a celebration of strength, resilience, and the enduring passion for weightlifting. As these athletes break barriers and set new standards, they pave the way for the future of Masters weightlifting in Wales. The inaugural event leaves an indelible mark on the weightlifting landscape, setting the stage for more triumphs and records in the years to come.
A link to the official scoresheets from the competition can be seen below: